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Popular Writing – a Key Skill for PhD Graduates

This year we set the second cohort of the London NERC DTP a new task – we asked them to write for the public, on a topic of their choice. I know from experience that this can be an extremely daunting prospect for many PhD students – after years of training in scientific writing and communicating with your peers, the idea of writing for an audience with such a varied knowledge base can be quite intimidating. It can be very hard to remember which of the terms and concepts, which¬†seem so fundamental now, were alien just a few years ago. Remembering how to write with flair, how to tell a story rather than just report data, and when to leave some details out – these are skills many PhD students haven’t practised in years.

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